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Top 7 leadership assessment tests to hire the best talent

Updated on: July 23, 2024

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Great leaders are rare, and recruiting them without the right tools is a high-stakes gamble.

It’s not only the stereotypical bad leader that can do much damage. Unqualified candidates can make poor decisions, mismanage employees, and cost money.

Using leadership assessment tests, you can accurately identify a skilled leader who is right for the job.

In this article, we cover seven of the best leadership assessment tests, explain how they work, and prove this screening method is the only way to go.

Top 7 leadership assessment tests to hire the best talent

Testing your candidates for leadership skills can be tasking, especially if you don’t know what to look for or what tests to administer. Below, we describe the top seven of the best leadership assessment tests that can help you hire the best leaders.

Top 7 leadership assessment tests to hire the best talent graphic

1. DISC test

The DISC test is a leadership personality assessment. According to the test’s principles, there are four main personality types: dominance (D), influence (I), steadiness (S), and conscientiousness (C).

With the DISC assessment, you can predict how candidates act in different scenarios, which is an excellent way to evaluate their leadership style and suitability for the role. This leadership assessment test enables you to hire candidates with self-awareness and the right personality and mindset for the job.

An example question from TestGorilla’s DISC Personality test

2. Culture Add test

Considering the influence leaders have on establishing and maintaining the company culture, the Culture Add test is a critical assessment of leadership potential. It evaluates the candidates’ core values and shows ways they could influence your work environment.

The best part about the Culture Add test is that it’s completely customizable. The employer fills out the questionnaire first and, in doing so, sets the ideal benchmark values for candidate testing.

Based on their answers, candidate results are compared and ranked by how well they suit the company culture. The scores enable you to select a true culture add who can enrich your current workplace environment in new ways.

3. Critical Thinking test

A large part of leadership is making important decisions that impact the entire company, so assessing critical thinking for leadership positions is crucial. The right candidate has to be an independent thinker capable of weighing options, analyzing and conceptualizing information, and coming up with adequate solutions to complex problems.

During our Critical Thinking test, candidates solve advanced reasoning problems to prove they can handle the role.

Here’s one of the sixteen questions from the test:

An example question from TestGorilla's Critical Thinking test

4. Leadership and People Management test

TestGorilla’s Leadership and People Management test is a 10-minute test that shows you how effectively each candidate can lead a team using situational real-life scenarios.

The focus is on identifying people with a genuine interest in developing others and the ability to support their team toward shared goal completion rather than determining specific leadership styles like leadership personality questionnaires do (see our next test suggestion).

This test covers competencies like:

  • Delegating authority and task responsibility

  • Designing and supporting employee development plans

  • Providing guidance and constructive feedback

  • Being open to and implementing colleagues’ ideas and plans

5. Big 5 test

The Big 5 (OCEAN) test is a leadership personality assessment that helps you understand the candidate’s character traits, decision-making, mindset, strengths, and how they relate to others.

It uses the five-factor model theory that classifies personalities on the five different characteristic spectrums: openness (O), conscientiousness (C), extroversion (E), agreeableness (A), and neuroticism (N) or emotional stability. The candidates go on a self-assessment journey where they score various statements from 1 (inaccurate) to 5 (accurate).

Although the Big 5 test doesn’t directly predict job performance, it helps you understand the candidate’s leadership style and personality (introverted vs. extroverted), gauge their potential dynamic with your team, and predict their suitability to your specific role.

TestGorilla: Your partner in leadership candidate screening

Revolutionize your hiring with TestGorilla's specialized Leadership and People Management test. Our test library has more than 400 skills tests to enhance your recruitment process.

HTML5 interview questions

6. Communication test

To manage a team well, it is crucial that the leaders are good communicators who can give timely information to team members and discuss ideas with them.

How leaders speak to their colleagues is as important as what they say. Positive communication involves effectively using words and body language, active listening, emotional intelligence, and a desire to connect with others.

Good leaders speak clearly and directly but not without kindness, remembering to appreciate their teammates’ efforts even when they need to make improvements.

Our Communication test picks candidates who can express their ideas to a second party, gain information from them, and effectively communicate using spoken and written words.

7. Program Management test

TestGorilla’s Program Management test is all about managing stakeholders, resources, and program lifecycles. It enables you to hire program managers and senior project managers who are competent in leading and delivering successful programs.

An example question from TestGorilla's Program Management test

This test isn’t suitable for all leadership roles, but it’s intended as an example for a role-specific evaluation in your talent assessment.

Feel free to replace it with a more relevant test for your open position. Some ideas include:

On our website, you can see recommended and popular aptitude tests when you create a talent assessment for a role, ensuring you don’t forget about an important skill.

How do leadership assessment tests work in practice?

A leadership assessment is a test or series of tests you can use to check how well a person can manage teams and lead effectively. TestGorilla leadership qualities tests enable candidates to show their leadership competencies by solving scenario-based problems within a stipulated time frame.

They are designed to objectively and fairly evaluate candidates’ suitability for the role, considering various factors such as personality and culture, situational judgment, cognitive abilities, language, and motivation.

Each test uses one of these formats:

  • Multiple-choice

  • Coding

  • Typing

  • Questionnaire

  • Simulation

The goal is to provide employers with accurate, unbiased data about candidates and a replicable and easy hiring process.

Here are some examples of specific questions about applicants you can answer with leadership assessment tests:


How leadership tests answer them

What is their leadership style?

Leadership personality tests might reveal a candidate is a servant-type leader who focuses on empowering the team or, instead, a strong-willed and task-oriented authoritarian who can make decisions fast

Are they able to make sound decisions?

The critical thinking test shows whether applicants make logical conclusions and have strong reasoning skills

Can they communicate in a way that empowers those around them?

Communication tests give candidates a chance to show they can actively listen, communicate clearly, and interpret information

How can they improve your company culture?

The Culture Add test reveals candidates’ core values and beliefs, so you can pick a person who can positively influence others and bring a fresh perspective

Do they have appropriate subject matter expertise?

Role-specific leadership skills tests identify people who understand key concepts about their industry, know how to implement the best practices, and have what it takes to lead a team of qualified professionals effectively

If you’re wondering if these tests work in practice, you don’t have to take our word for it. For example, Pilgrims’ Friend Society uses TestGorilla to screen for senior and leadership roles.

Leadership assessment tests give the company a way to evaluate every needed skill, let it set custom requirement benchmarks, and help it disqualify unsuitable applicants early in the process.

Why are leadership assessment tests important?

Research shows that 70% of the variance in team engagement is determined by the leader, so the person you pick can influence your company in a tangible way.

Unfortunately, a study by Gallup also found that companies pick the wrong candidate for management roles 82% of the time, and only one in ten people have what it takes to be a good leader.

1 in 10 people have what it takes to be a good leader graphic

This much is clear: Good managers are rare, and companies’ over-reliance on resumes often leads them astray because they aren’t sufficient proof of skill.

In addition, the average cost of replacing a highly competent employee is 213% of their annual income.

The average cost of replacing a highly competent employee graphic

Leadership assessment tests save companies a lot of headaches because they:

  • Predict job performance more reliably than any other evaluation method

  • Save significant recruitment resources and the costs of mis-hiring

  • Limit bias and ensure you hire the objectively right person for the job, not the person you like the most

  • Provide a fair chance for all candidates to show their capabilities and an inclusive way to compare their skills, revealing some hidden stars

  • Help you hire the best leader based on your situation and needs

  • Enhance the quality of hire and facilitate a replicable hiring process

  • Improve the candidate experience and your employer brand by extension

  • Work as a fairer, more inclusive way to evaluate and compare candidates’ skills

  • Reduce your time-to-hire

Using a leadership assessment ultimately helps bolster your company’s success because it enables you to quickly identify objective-driven candidates who can reach and exceed your company’s goals.

You can also use your select assessment for leadership development to maintain a high standard in your organization and identify high-potential employees for future leadership.

Elevate your leadership selection with precise testing

Sign up for a free live demo to explore how TestGorilla's leadership assessments can streamline your hiring and identify true leaders efficiently.

The question on our minds: Are leadership assessment tests effective?

Trusting resumes to point you toward great leaders for your company comes with a high risk, especially since many candidates who apply for a job lie on their resumes (between 10% and 78%, according to various studies, depending on the methodology). 

In many cases, even after an in-depth screening process and multiple rounds of interviews, companies still hire the wrong person for the job because the hiring process is prone to bias and selection errors.

That was the story of Orbit Technologies until they switched to TestGorilla.

Since turning to pre-employment assessments, Orbit Technologies improved its new hire retention rate by 50%, which is a critical advantage for important roles like leadership hiring.

TestGorilla leadership qualities assessments are the best way to choose your leaders because:

  1. They are more accurate than resumes, which can be gamed

  2. They reduce the chance of poorly suited hires who don’t last in the company because they empower you to take a multi-measure approach to candidate skills and personalities

Hire the best leaders using leadership assessment tests

Leadership assessment tests give candidates an even playing field to prove their talents and potential.

TestGorilla offers hundreds of them – see for yourself in the product tour.

Our library features many scientifically validated tests to assess candidates’ leadership abilities and personalities to help you recruit the best person for the job. Check out our demo to see how the test creation process works.

Ready to hire exceptional leaders? Try our Free forever plan and pick the leadership skills assessments that match the job requirements.

Leadership assessment tests FAQs

Do you still have some questions about leadership skills assessments? Let’s answer them.

What are leadership assessment tests?

Leadership assessment tests check how well a person can manage teams and lead effectively using scenario-based problems and questions. A good leadership qualities assessment evaluates candidates’ personalities and behavior, reactions to different situations and circumstances, situational judgment, and critical thinking capabilities.

What are the best leadership assessment tests?

  1. DISC test

  2. Culture add test

  3. Critical thinking test

  4. Leadership and People Management test

  5. Big 5 test

  6. Communication test

  7. Motivation test

  8. Role or department-specific tests like the Program Management test, the HR Management test, the Performance Management test, or the Risk Management test

All of these tests are available in our test librarycheck them out today!

How do you test leadership skills?

The best leadership assessment tools use multi-measure tests for candidate screening. With TestGorilla, you get recommendations for relevant tests on industry expertise as well as personality traits, leadership strengths, motivation, soft skills like communication and critical thinking, and culture add. You can select up to five per assessment. Candidate results are automatically compared so you can proceed to the interview stage quickly and only with the best talent.


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